Creating a culture of service at Aiken Regional

Aiken Regional Medical Centers is driven by a passion to serve its patients, community and employees.

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Aiken Regional Medical Centers originally opened in 1917 and has been at its current location since 1976. UHS acquired the hospital in 1995. Today, Aiken Regional is a 245-bed acute care facility offering a comprehensive range of specialties and services.

When Vance Reynolds came to Aiken Regional Medical Centers as CEO, he wanted to focus on a culture of service. “We put service first so our patients feel like part of our family and trust us to care for them and their needs,” Reynolds says. You can see this culture exemplified throughout the hospital.

A culture of service means being patient focused. Ask Eric Muhlbaier. As the Director of Patient Advocacy and Volunteer Services, he plays an important role in the patient experience at the hospital. In his job, he routinely asks, “Did we serve the patient?” This simple question often leads to additional actions that ensure the hospital has done all it can for the patient.

Eric MulbaierEric’s approach and attitude is exceptional, but at Aiken Regional, it’s typical. “Our hospital is fortunate to have employees and volunteers who represent our hospital with the mission of serving others,” Muhlbaier says. The hospital auxiliary, chaplain services, Mended Hearts and care team volunteers are a key part of enhancing the patient and visitor experience.

Chaplain Services volunteers provide spiritual support based on cultural and religious preferences. Mended Hearts volunteers provide counseling to patients and families of patients with cardiac disease. Care team volunteers spend time with patients to make their hospital stay easier. This is especially helpful for patients who have no family or whose families are unable to visit. Hospital auxiliary volunteers help with directions, escorting, gift shop, patient representation and discharge services.

Gratitude brings about gratitude.

Vance Reynolds, CEO, Aiken Regional Medical Centers

Reynolds’ vision also includes a culture of service for each other as employees. “I believe as we serve our employees, that translates to better service for our patients, which leads to greater patient satisfaction,” Reynolds says.

Reynolds is an advocate of the power of gratitude and thanks. He says thanking someone for something they have done goes a long way. “I ask every administrator to write out three to five thank you notes a month to employees,” Reynolds says. “Gratitude brings about gratitude.”

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